This upside down tart is not the most beautiful creation in this collection of recipes but it certainly is tasty. I’ve gone for apple but you can make a tarte tatin with any fruit really – pear is a common choice and I’ve even seen versions made with banana or tomato.
Most recipes call for an oven-proof frying pan or skillet but I used a springform baking tin which also does the job quite nicely. Use what you have.
1 quantity/sheet puff pastry
1 springform tin, greased with a circle of greaseproof paper on the bottom
a baking sheet, slightly bigger than the springform tin
This recipe works fine with either cooking or eating apples. Cooking apples will keep their shape nicely whereas eating apples tend to go a bit mushy. The tart will be neater if you stick to one sort of apple.
- On a floured surface, roll out your puff pastry into a circle, slightly larger than the size of the tin.
2. Melt the sugar in a heavy frying pan over a medium heat. Keep one eye on the sugar while you peel, core and quarter the apples. The sugar will go clumpy and gritty before melting into a nice brown syrup.
3. Turn off the heat and add the butter to the melted sugar. Stir a little to mix in the butter and add the apples. Return to a medium flame and stir gently, coating the apples in the caramel. Any clumps or stringy bits in the caramel will disappear as it heats. After 5-10 minutes, the apples should be nicely caramelized and uniformly brown.
4. Put the tin onto the baking sheet (this is to catch any caramel overspill). Taking care not to burn yourself, pour the caramel and apples into the baking tin.
5. Put the circle of puff pastry over the apples, tucking in any stray edges. This won’t look terribly neat but don’t worry as it will hold the tart together better. A neatly cut circle of pastry the size of the tin will shrink and the tart may fall apart once it’s turned out of the tin.
6. Bake for 40 minutes at 180C – the pastry should be crisp and golden. Don’t be tempted to remove it early – the top of the pastry may look cooked before it has had time to cook through. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before turning it out onto a tray or plate. Peel the circle of greaseproof paper off the layer of apples. If the pie starts to slide or lose shape, put the circular part of the springform tin back around the tart. It will have more structural integrity once it’s a bit cooler. Serve with ice cream.
7. Soak the tin and baking sheet in warm water to remove any caramel stuck to them.